This week’s TTT, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, has a back-to-school theme, which means it is deeply depressing for me, because I am a teacher and, much as a I like teaching, I also like not having to go to work. I have decided to celebrate/commemorate this occasion by listing the characters I would most definitely not want in my class.
Gansey from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Don’t shout at me, TRC fans. Gansey has some good qualities and everything, but I can’t see a situation in which he’d be in my class and I wouldn’t end up screaming “JUST SHUT UP ABOUT GLENDOWER, OK?” and throwing a post-it at him.
Noah from I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
I like Noah and everything, but he’d definitely be a doodler and I can’t abide that.
Keats from The Museum of You by Meg Leder
Keats is such a pretentious douchebag and, coincidentally, is named after a poet whose work I severely dislike. I would not be able to tolerate his nonsense.
Joanna from The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
In the context of the Games, I love Joanna. In the context of my classroom, she’d definitely be the one storming into the room in a massive strop and refusing to do any work because she “didn’t feel like it.”
Lacey, Dex and Nikki from Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman
All three of these girls would scare the b’jaysus out of me, and, much as I empathise with the dramas of being a teenage girl, theirs are far too disturbing.
Alaska from Looking for Alaska by John Green
I don’t want Alaska, or Paper Towns‘ Margo, or any of their manic pixie dream girl brethren anywhere near my lessons; they’d never actually answer the question in an essay and if I called on them in class they’d probably be tap-dancing or something.
Amy Gumm from Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
If there’s one thing that really annoys me as a teacher (there is more than one thing, obviously), it’s kids complaining about how hard things are before they’ve even tried them properly. Amy (along with every other fictional teen who suddenly discovers they have magical powers) complains ALL THE TIME about her magic lessons, even though learning magic is clearly completely awesome.
Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Don’t get me wrong; I love this book and I love Holden. But I would not need his less-than-positive attitude in my class, calling people “phonies” and wearing a silly hat.
Kevin from We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Mikey from The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Supposedly, you’re not meant to have favourites as a teacher. For this reason, I couldn’t teach Mikey; he is so sweet and so in need of someone to look out for him that I would clearly like him the best and this would compromise my professionalism, which is obviously extremely important to me.
It is possible that I should print out this list and stick it to my desk; then, the next time I feel annoyed that a student has spelt my name wrong or attempted to text their mum during a lesson, I can at least feel grateful that none of them are chasing me with a crossbow.